The team announced last July that full- and half-season plan holders (“Nats Plus” members) would be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase All-Star Game tickets, which are sold in strips that also include tickets to Sunday’s Futures Game and celebrity softball game, Monday’s all-star workout day and Home Run Derby and a commemorative program. With Major League Baseball taking about one-third of the All-Star Game ticket inventory, the understanding was that some Nationals plan holders would be displaced from their regular seats.
“We had a lot of people to take care of while trying to balance the league’s demands,” Nationals chief revenue and marketing officer Valerie Camillo said Friday. “Very few fans who were in full-season plans were moved from their seats.”
Camillo said the Nationals’ ticketing office made it a priority, based on fan feedback, to keep “Nats Plus” members as close to their regular seats as possible in cases where they had to be relocated, and full-season plan holders in premium locations who were moved for the All-Star Game were personally contacted by Nationals representatives last week. Location priority for half-season plan holders was determined by tenure.
The Nationals do not release plan-holder numbers, but seven weeks before Opening Day, Camillo said Washington’s plan-holder base (which includes fans with ticket packages of 10 games or more) is already the largest in team history. While the Nationals typically give plan holders the opportunity to purchase extra tickets for the postseason, plan holders are limited to one strip per seat for the All-Star Game and surrounding events. Even so, the team doesn’t expect to be able to offer all of its partial-plan holders the opportunity to purchase All-Star Game strips.
“As it stands today, we will not have enough inventory to satisfy partial-plan holders in their entirety, so we’re looking at tenure-based assignment,” Camillo said.
All partial-plan holders still have the opportunity to buy tickets to the Futures Game and celebrity softball game on all-star Sunday. Meanwhile, “Nats Plus” members have until April 1 to decide whether to purchase All-Star Game strips in their assigned seats before the Nationals make those tickets available to partial-plan holders. Camillo said the inventory remaining after full- and half-season plan-holder ticket orders are processed will determine the system used to decide which partial plan holders are given the opportunity to purchase tickets to the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, the week’s marquee events. One possibility is a lottery weighted by tenure that would give even fans who only recently purchased a partial plan a chance. Camillo added that Nationals fans who purchase a full-season plan, or upgrade to a half-season plan with a two-year commitment, by Opening Day will be eligible for the same benefits as current “Nats Plus” members and therefore be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase all-star strips.
MLB will offer a presale on all-star strips in May for MasterCard cardholders, to be followed by an unrestricted general sale. The league determines the ticket prices for All-Star week events and the cheapest strip this year is about $400. It’s early, but tickets for just the All-Star Game start at $513 and tickets for just the Home Run Derby start at $431 on Vivid Seats, a secondary ticket market site.
Over the past five seasons, the average price for All-Star Game tickets sold on Vivid Seats has ranged from $336 for last year’s game at Marlins Park to $599 for the 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis. The get-in, or cheapest price, for last year’s game was $78 and $120 for the Home Run Derby. Nationals full- and half-season plans start at $1,312 and $756, respectively.
Details about parking for all-star events were not included in the invoices that went out Friday, but a team spokeswoman said the team is confident that full-season plan holders who have parking during the regular season will have the opportunity to purchase parking in one of the team lots. Parking inventory for half- and partial-plan holders remains to be determined.
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